What is confidence?
Confidence is often mistaken for ego, and at times, it can be difficult to differentiate the two from each other, but there are some distinct differences. Ego comes into play when a person has low self esteem and or low confidence in themselves. As self esteem decreases, ego often increases in order to preserve a person’s well being.
Guys walking around with their chests puffed out, driving expensive cars, or flaunting their money does not equal confidence, but it does often correlate with an increased ego (an attempt to feel better about themselves through false means). Women who shop only the most expensive labels, hang out all day being pampered at spas or salons, or who post endless selfies of themselves on instagram to gain likes from others, are usually the most insecure, and come with the lowest self esteem and biggest egos.
Confidence comes from an internal place of knowing who you are, what you like, what is most important to you, and from knowing where you stand as a person; ego comes from ambivalence about who you are, a lack of clarity, and a lack of values and integrity. A confident person’s self worth comes from living a life that pleases them (because they are in alignment with their values and standards), while ego comes from feeling lost and exposed in a harsh world with nothing to hold onto. Ego grasps desperately at worldly things, accomplishments, and images to define a person’s worth, while confidence comes from the knowledge that you are perfect as you are and as long as you maintain your integrity, you can feel good about your life.
Confidence doesn’t come easily, and it is almost never natural, it is something that is developed overtime, either through a strong upbringing, life experience, or personal commitment to development. The first step to developing confidence is to look at confident people and understand what makes them confident; after you have seen these traits in practice, it will be much easier to develop confidence of your own. Just remember: nothing you do makes you more of a man or a woman than you already are, it is your integrity and your commitment to excellence that will increase your confidence, and anything else is just the ego taking over.
10 Traits of Confident People.
- They don’t seek approval and validation.
Confident people don’t look toward others for their feelings of self worth and value. Confidence is about knowing what is important and living a life that reflects those things in your highest priorities.
A lot of people say Michael Jordan is an asshole, but everybody respects him and agrees he was one of greatest of all time. Mike might not have lived by some of society’s accepted standards, but he followed his own heart and built something that almost anyone would be proud of. Mike had a bit of an ego as well, but he was humble enough to keep pushing himself to improve and never grow complacent with his seat at the throne. He talked a lot of trash, he was brash and abrasive, but dammit he was Mike.
Take it or leave it, confident people aren’t there to impress you, they are their to be themselves.
- They make choices from deep personal standards and priorities.
Confidence often comes from a deep belief in what you are doing and who you are as a person. For example: if you are are trying to walk on a balance beam over an active volcano 1000 feet in the air, it’s fair to say your confidence may be a little shaky, but walk down a block on the sidewalk and you don’t give it a second thought. When you take a walk down the street you already know you can do it, you don’t even have to think about the possibility of what other options could happen.
Living life is sort of like that: when you are unsure of what is important to you and what truly matters in your life, it can be difficult and frustrating to be forced to make decisions, but confident people have integrity. Confident people know exactly who they want to be, what is important to them, and what they believe in and every choice they make reflects those values.
- They accept constructive criticism and are immune to negativity.
Confident people embrace constructive criticism as an opportunity to grow as a person. When someone they trust gives them a word of advice, they aren’t afraid to take the idea and roll it over in their mind, sure they may disagree and throw it out, but they will give it a listen if they trust that the person is really trying to offer some value.
Confident people believe in the power of others to offer valuable insights and tips that may help them on their journey, but at the same time, confident people don’t even consider negativity or hate. If someone calls them a name or talks badly about them, it won’t make them feel like less, and it will often cause them to work even harder to prove that person wrong.
“Nothing says I told you so, like massive success.”
- The only opinion about them that matters, is their opinion of themselves and the people closest to them.
While confident people are immune to negativity and harsh criticism from people who are envious of their confidence and achievements, they often hold a special place in their hearts for those people that they value most in their lives. Confident people often end up caring a whole lot about others, because they aren’t afraid to love and care about others.
The people who have their hearts closed off are often too afraid and insecure to make themselves vulnerable to the love and affection of others. Confident people can only feel good about themselves if they and the people they care about like who they are.
- The aren’t afraid to fail, or apologize when they make a mistake.
While ego will protect a person against feeling bad about making mistakes or falling short by generating excuses or denying the facts, confident people accept when they make a mistake and can claim failure as their own. Confident people know that failure is a prerequisite to excellence and that the only way to learn is to occasionally mess up; when they make a mistake, they say they are sorry and they move on. One mistake certainly can’t shake a truly confident person, it’s just a bump in the road.
- They are willing to take risks to get what they want.
Since confident people aren’t afraid to fail, they will dive head first into challenging situations or take risks if they have determined the benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks, Ego holds onto your current success with a vengeance, while confidence allows you to move past risk, fear, or failure and into something even better.
- They want to grow and improve as people.
Confident people love who they are, but they always seek to improve, They are always seeking out new opportunities for challenge, always listening for feedback that can help them grow, and are always looking introspectively at themselves to find the weakness in their armor. As long as a person is improving they can take pride in who they are, because they understand that are not the past, but they are the future they create and the actions they take in each moment.
- They want to see other people.succeed.
Confident people don’t see life as a Zero Sum game, in other words, they believe that when one person succeeds, everyone succeeds. Confident people like to help others, they like to surround themselves with other confident people, and they LOVE to read, watch, and hear about other people who have overcome adversity or achieved success. It is truly inspiring!
- They know what they want and they do everything in their power to get it.
Confident people don’t act from moment to moment seeking instant gratification or just to feel good, because their sense of purpose and meaning comes from beyond them, it comes from living a life that is in congruence with their deepest values and standards. Confident people know exactly what is important to them and they work endlessly to make it come true. They don’t have to second guess their actions because they are confident in their chosen path.
- They aren’t victims in life’s game, but they are heros in the their own story.
Confidence comes from being in charge of your destiny, from understanding that you aren’t a victim to life, but rather, you are in a battle against the temptations that would take you out of integrity. Confident people don’t play the victim, they don’t cry over the past, and they don’t identify with helplessness, instead they take the lead, charge ahead, and manifest the life that they desire to love regardless of the challenges or adversities that lie ahead.
While confidence is certainly composed of more than just 10 traits on a blog list somewhere online, these are some of the fundamental traits you will see in truly confident and happy people. Want to learn to be confident? Read the post here
So what about you, are you working on these traits, or do you know someone who shows these traits in their day to day life? What other traits do you think make up confidence that I haven’t included here? Make sure and leave a comment in the section below or send us a tweet or comment on facebook and let us know your thoughts!